Field of flowers
Just a five minute walk south from Piazza Navona
is the busy Campo de’ Fiori, a small market square in one of the most active districts in Rome. Like its neighbour, the Campo de’ Fiori is a pedestrian zone and a short stroll through the square and surrounding streets will provide you with lots to see and do.
The square used to be the site of public executions, and an imposing hooded statue of astronomer and pantheist Giordano Bruno dominates the middle ground of the square, in memory of his being burnt at the stake for heresy in 1600. But this is not a gloomy spot. The name Campo de’ Fiori translates as ‘Field of flowers,’ referring to the square’s previous incarnation as a meadow during the Middle Ages. Today it is ringed with boutique hotels and restaurants where you can enjoy Italian cuisine and wine, often more reasonably priced (if less upmarket) than in nearby Navona.
Stop to shop
The Campo de’ Fiori also hosts a busy food and flower market every morning, offering a wide range of colourful produce, as well as touristy trinkets. The surrounding streets, which take their names from various trades, such as the roads of the Balestrari (crossbow makers) and Chiavari (key-makers), are great for shopping for clothes, jewellery and shoes.
In the southwest corner you will find the Taverna della Vacca (‘Cow’s Inn’), a remnant from the original 16th century square which belonged to Vannozza dei Cattanei, famed mistress of Rodrigo Borgia - later Pope Alexander VI. Directly behind the square is the Piazza Farnese, with the Renaissance architectural masterpiece that is the Palazzo Farnese, now the French Embassy. Within walking distance of many of the best attractions in Rome
, Campo de’ Fiori has everything on its doorstep.